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UFC 251 post-fight bonuses: Namajunas-Andrade battle snags FOTN

Check out which fighters won performance bonuses from UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal

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Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

The Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE was home to a great night of fights at UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal. The card saw three (T)KOs, two submissions and eight decisions, including two split-decisions.

The prelims kicked off with a great back-and-forth battle that ended with a third-round, monster knockout of Martin Day by Davey Grant. That absolute barn-burner was followed up by a quartet of spirited fights that went the distance before Mr. Finland would break the cycle and snag a quick anaconda choke on Danny Henry. One more exciting fight between Capoeira and Salikov that went the distance before the main event of the prelims went down. Jiri Prochazka and Volkan Oezdemir traded bombs for the entire first round, but it took Jiri just 49 seconds of round two to launch a heat seeker that crumpled Oezdemir into a heap. Volkan was slept for the first time in his career and Prochazka put the light heavyweight division on notice.

The main card opened with a quick armbar submission of Paige VanZant by the master of the harai goshi and absolute badass, Amanda Ribas. Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade put on a spectacular fight that ended with Namajunas taking the split-decision victory.

Jose Aldo returned to his leg-kicking ways and looked good in the early goings, but as the fight wore on, Jose’s cardio waned and Petr Yan punished him. The referee clearly hated Aldo, as he allowed him to take about 6,782,341 unnecessary shots, but finally, mercifully, he stopped the fight late in the fifth-round. Yan is now the undisputed bantamweight champion.

The rematch between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovoski was much different from the first fight. Holloway utilized his length much better, and just seemed to find his rhythm much earlier. He dropped Volk twice, and mixed kicks and big uppercuts with surgical precision in the first few rounds. Volkanovski did much better in the later goings, managing to steal the split-decision to the dismay of many.

The main event started with a fast exchange between Usman and Masvidal, and saw Masvidal fare much better than expected when threatened with takedowns and when he ended up on the canvas, he managed to get back to his feet pretty expediently. Jorge defended takedowns, survived two headbutts resulting in cuts and took quite a bit of punishment on the feet, but Usman won the rounds with smart game planning and pressure. Gamebred put forth a great effort, but in the end, Kamaru Usman retained his belt via unanimous decision.

Performance of the Night: Davey Grant and Jiri Prochazka

Davey Grant (KO (punch) at 2:38 of round 3), Makwan Amirkhani (Anaconda choke, 3:15 of round 1), Jiri Prochazka (KO (strikes), :49 of round 2), Amanda Ribas (armbar, 2:21 of round 1), and Petr Yan (TKO (strikes), 3:24 of round 5) all beat the final horn in their respective fights but it would be Davey Grant and Jiri Prochazka that grabbed the bonus money.

Fight of the Night: Andrade vs. Namajunas 2

Karol Rosa (30-26, 30-26, 30-27), Raulian Paiva (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Marcin Tybura (30-27, 30-27, 29-28), Leonardo Santos (29-26, 29-26, 29-26), Muslim Salikhov (30-27, 28-29, 29-28), Rose Namajunas (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Alexander Volkanovski (47-48, 48-47, 48-47), and Kamaru Usman (50-45x2, 49-46) all went the distance but it would be Rose Namajunas’ gutsy performance against Jessica Andrade that took FOTN honors.

*Note: UFC 251 sets a new single-event UFC record for most fight time with 3:07:27. It passes UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura (3:04:18).

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